Modus Operandi has been one of the first Sydney breweries to experiment with the New England IPA style and release it fresh into the local market.
Gadzooks! IPA is the first NEIPA featured on this website.
It’s hard to express an opinion on the style. You’re either pigeonholed as a boring traditionalist who won’t move with the times or a craft beer hipster. It feels like you can’t win.
The thing about the style is that it’s still so young and, while there are guidelines, there aren’t that many people who truly understand what it should be. Few people have tasted the beer fresh from the breweries who pioneered the style (myself included).
That said, we can still judge a beer objectively, on its own merits.
In the case of Modus Operandi’s Gadzooks! IPA it carries some significance as a notable release from a Sydney brewery that’s experimenting with the style and providing a fresh local interpretation.
Hops & Haze
Gadzooks! IPA is highly aromatic from the start, showing off a cacophony of tropical fruit hops. Galaxy, Mosaic, Cascade and Mandarina Bavaria come in waves. There’s mango, passionfruit, grapefruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, a sprinkling of bright green Christmas tree pine needles and a spritz of lemonade.
In the glass it’s nearly opaque, a cloudy lemon curd yellow. There’s a tight, spongey white head that leaves suds laced down the glass. Whether you care for hazy beers or not, the initial splash of cloudy liquid into the glass, swirling under a tempestuous white foam, is a thing to behold.
According to the characteristics of this style, there’s a light, pillowy mouthfeel. There’s some smoothness to Gadzooks!, possibly due to the addition of oats. Another defining feature of New England IPAs is the low bitterness and compared to other styles of IPA the bitterness is far more restrained.
Whether the bitterness is low enough is for other people to decide. Again, while it’s still new and evolving there aren’t many people who understand or have properly experienced benchmark examples of the style.
Compare & Contrast
It feels like New England IPAs are the type of beer suited to a shaker pint glass while propping up an American style bar. Gadzooks! IPA would go well with honey soy chicken wings, cheesy bacon fries or, if you want to be more adventurous, a lemon meringue pie or passionfruit mousse.
It’s interesting to contrast this beer with some of the other New England IPAs floating around Australia (as long as they’re fresh). However, if you like hops but aren’t yet convinced by the style, Modus Operandi’s Sonic Prayer IPA is a classic west coast style IPA produced locally.
From: Mona Vale, NSW
Beer style: New England IPA
Hops: Cascade, Centennial, Galaxy, Idaho 7, Mandarina Bavaria, Mosaic
Malt: Pale, Wheat, Oats
Pair with: Honey soy chicken wings
Have you tried Modus Operandi’s Gadzooks! IPA? What do you think of it and the New England IPA style? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.